I have to admit when I first received the DVD of The ABCs Of Death 2 there was a reluctance inside me to pop it into the Blu-ray player and to go through each individual short story one by one.
I could have cheated. I could have watched the 26 short films in batches of 6 over the course of 4 sittings for instance. But something inside me reacted and screamed at me ‘WATCH IT ALL AT ONCE YOU FOOL!’
And so I gave in and watched the lot. If you weren’t already aware, the The ABC’s Of Death 2 is a collection of 26 short films, each connected to a letter of the alphabet – much like its predecessor, The ABC’s of Death. Each story presents it’s own unique way to die and whilst this sounds quite simple, it had to be achieved in the relatively short space of just over 4 minutes. So you don’t feel left out, I am listing below all 26 shorts and who has directed them:
Badger – Directed by Julian Barratt.
Capital Punishment – Directed by Julian Gilbey.
Deloused – Directed by Robert Morgan.
Equilibrium – Directed by Alejandro Brugues.
Falling – Directed by Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado.
Granddad – Directed by Jim Hosking.
Head Games – Directed by Bill Plympton.
Invincible – Directed by Erik Matti.
Jesus – Directed by Dennison Ramalho.
Knell – Directed by Kristina Buozyte, Bruno Samper.
Legacy – Directed by Lancelot Imasuen.
Masticate – Directed by Robert Boocheck.
Nexus – Directed by Larry Fessenden.
Ochlocracy (mob rule) – Directed by Hajime Ohata.
P-P-P-P SCARY! – Directed by Todd Rohal.
Questionnaire – Directed by Rodney Ascher.
Roulette – Directed by Marvin Kren.
Split – Directed by Juan Martinez Moreno.
Torture Porn – Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska
Utopia – Directed by Vincenzo Natali.
Vacation – Directed by Jerome Sable.
Wish – Directed by Steven Kostanski.
Xylophone – Directed by Julien Maury, Alexandre Bustillo.
Youth – Directed by Soichi Umezawa.
Zygote – Directed by Chris Nash.
I just heard a collective WOW emanate from everyone reading this at the sheer volume of shorts and directors! You just want to know the deal on whether it’s worth watching or not right? Okay, I will crack on then. Apologies!
Starting off with A is for Amateur, we are shown the story of a hitman who is contracted to kill a drug dealer. Needless to say our hitman is indeed an amateur, but it is hilarious to see how and why he finally achieves the hit he has been contracted with. As we plough through the entries we are presented with mutant badgers, the exorcism of a gay man which backfires on the exorcists, ritual sacrifices that go wrong when they help to summon a demonic creature, a woman defending herself against being sentenced to death for killing them in their zombie state and a woman who has managed to stave off giving birth for 13 years! Yes, it is pretty wacky isn’t it?
I was pleasantly surprised by the imagination of the directors and the way each of them dealt with the subject of death in their own unique way. I have decided to not highlight or admonish any entry in particular as I honestly believe with this collection it will be entirely down to the viewer as to which entry is their favourite. There is a nice mix of animation, mythology, and downright exploitation and I think this has been a key factor in elevating it to a higher level than the first entry. There has been a lot of criticism of the first entry, but I would like to say for the record that this entry is far superior to the original. It has more depth and care and it is apparent that each director has ensured they have utilised their budgets effectively.
If you’re a fan of anthologies such as V/H/S then you will be very happy with this collection. You might not love all of the entries but I’m pretty sure you are going to like 80% of them. It must be pretty intense to build a short around a letter of the alphabet, restricting yourself to just one word which encompasses your vision in short film. It it to the credit of all the directors, that they have achieved so much within so little a budget and time.
Here’s to ABCs Of Death 3!